Oh, for the Joy of a Tickled Rat

By JAMES GORMANNovember 10, 2016There’s just something about a rat jumping for joy when it’s been tickled that can change your whole outlook on rats, and neuroscience.For one thing, it gives me new faith in people to think that accomplished researchers spent time tickling their experimental subjects. And the similarity of rats to humans in the tickling realm is pleasantly bewildering.And I’m glad that the experiments have implications for human psychology, how moods affects behavior, and the importance of touch in forming social bonds.But honestly, the research could have fallen flat, and the attempt would still have perked me up, particularly by the evidence of how much fun the rats were having.Not only did they seek out the researchers’ hands to get tickled, and emit ultrasonic calls that are considered the rat’s…

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